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Should You Outsource Your e-Commerce Fulfillment System?

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Elena Velikova
June 12, 2017

Elena Velikova
Elena Velikova has written 8 articles for WebKnowHow.
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One today’s hyper-competitive, customer-centric e-Commerce landscape, ensuring your e-Commerce fulfillment system is both efficient and cost-effective is not just a top priority: it is an essential necessity. In fact, it is not a stretch to suggest that order fulfillment is the more important and influential business process, since it is either a gateway to satisfied (and often repeat) customers — or conversely, a brick wall that brings the buyer’s journey to a crashing halt and a premature end.

However, despite the critical importance of e-Commerce fulfillment, many businesses are struggling to handle some or all of the processes internally. This is not just having a negative impact on current sales, but more alarmingly, it is undermining competitive advantage and making the business stand out in its marketplace for all of the wrong reasons. Indeed, research shows that 55 percent of customers who have a negative experience will share their bad news story, compared to just 33 percent of customers who have a positive experience.

If your business is struggling to fill orders in a timely fashion and ensure that stock levels align with demand, then here are some benefits of outsourcing your e-Commerce fulfillment system that are worth considering as you evaluate strategies and tactics for moving ahead:

  1. You’ll get your products to market faster, since you can leverage your partner’s infrastructure that should include an enhanced order fulfillment integration capacity (e.g. shopping cards, ERP, CRM, EDI, automated script commands from legacy systems, etc.).

  2. You can flexibly add incremental services to establish new sales channels, or penetrate new markets.

  3. You’ll get better (i.e. more accessible and actionable) supply chain business intelligence, which helps you make faster and smarter decisions about various business aspects (including but not limited to e-Commerce processes).

  4. You can focus on running your business, instead of getting bogged down with fulfillment issues that can be incredibly time consuming and frustrating to deal with.

  5. You’ll ensure that your customers experience a predictable — and by that, I mean consistently excellent — ordering experience, which will inspire them to buy more, spread the good word, and be a valuable (and profitable) part of your customer community.


The Bottom Line

There was a time a couple of decades ago when many e-Commerce customers were so enamored and amazed at the idea of “buying stuff on the web,” that they tolerated a less-than-ideal fulfillment process. However, that era has completely passed. Today’s customers demand nothing less than a flawless end-to-end experience, which certainly includes having their packages ushered to their office, home or secure pick-up location on time without a hitch.  Outsourcing your fulfillment process (in part or whole) to a third party could be what your businesses needs to ensure you consistently meet this rising expectation.

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